1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 tablespoon rice wine, sherry or apple juice
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch or arrowroot, divided
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 bunch asparagus
4 scallions, cut crosswise in 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Place in a bowl and toss with 2 teaspoons soy sauce, rice wine, 2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot, and sugar. Marinate in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Mix stock, sesame oil and remaining soy sauce and starch in a cup, and reserve.
Chop the asparagus in 1-inch long pieces, discarding the tough bases. Chop the scallions and reserve. Chop the ginger and garlic and measure the pepper flakes; reserve.
Place a large wok or heavy skillet over high heat for a minute, then pour in the vegetable oil and swirl to coat pan. Add the shrimp and stir, tossing and stirring until the shrimp starts to turn pink. Add the asparagus and scallions and stir for a few seconds, then add the ginger, garlic and pepper flakes and stir for a few seconds more. Stir the soy sauce mixture and pour over the stir-fry. Stir constantly until the sauce thickens and the vegetables are crisp-tender. Serve over rice.
Served on top of a bowl of fragrant jasmine rice or hearty brown rice, this springtime stir-fry is a quick yet elegant weeknight meal.